Wednesday News: Waterstones dumps Kindle, new Twilight book, Austrian writer jailed, and a goofy quiz
Waterstones is removing Kindles from stores – In the wake of reports that print sales continue to gain strength, UK bookseller Waterstones is going to stop selling Kindles in their store due to poor sales. In fact, the word “pitiful” was used to describe sales of the e-reading device. This reality is in line with predictions that tablets and other multifunction devices will usurp e-readers for consumption of digital books.
However David Prescott, c.e.o. of Blackwell’s, also said that fewer e-reading devices were being sold at his chain, which stocks Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader. “We’re not seeing a great deal of people who are buying an e-reader for the first time now,” he said. “People are buying e-reader replacements, but that’s it.”
Douglas McCabe, analyst for Enders, said it was “no surprise” Waterstones was removing Kindle device sales from its shops. “The e-reader may turn out to be one of the shortest-lived consumer technology categories,” he said. – The Bookseller
‘Twilight’ Characters Swap Genders in 10th Anniversary Bonus: ‘Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined’ – aka if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. When Stephenie Meyer’s publisher asked her to write a forward for the 10th anniversary edition of Twilight, Meyer decided to do “more,” and thus wrote a 400-plus-page version of the book in which the main characters — Edward and Bella — swap genders. Because we haven’t had nearly enough of these two. The interview itself is interesting, because, on the one hand, Meyer indicates that the story doesn’t change. But at the same time she says that the gender switch changes the characters. What does this mean? Well, more money for Meyer and her publisher, that’s for sure. And maybe beating EL James to the punch of yet another variation on the books. And despite the screaming fans you see in the interview with Meyer, if you read the reviews at Amazon, some Twilight fans seem to be pretty ticked.
“It’s always bothered me a little bit because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be … in distress. We don’t have the powers,” Meyer said. “I thought, ‘What if we switched it around a bit and see how a boy does,’ and, you know, it’s about the same.”
“The further you get in, the more it changes because the personalities get a little bit different, but it starts out very similar and really, it really is the same story because it’s just a love story and it doesn’t matter who’s the boy and who’s the girl, it still works out,” she said. – Yahoo
Holocaust historians condemn Austria jailing of Jewish writer – A bizarre and disturbing story about the conviction of Jewish writer Stephan Templ, who has criticized Austria’s handling of Jewish property under the Nazi regime. In addition to Templ’s chronicling of Austria’s failure to return property taken from Austrian Jews, the writer also filed a claim on behalf of his own mother for a building seized in the late 1930s. Because Templ did not include an aunt (who also had a share in the property) in the filing, his claim was not only rejected, but he was convicted for “defrauding the state,” Initially sentenced to three years, the penalty was reduced to one:
In September Austrian President Heinz Fischer rejected a request for clemency, saying the punishment was fair because the court had ruled that Templ had “damaged Austria” by his actions.
Critics have called the decision to jail the writer an “overreaction” and have suggested it may be linked to his criticism of the government’s restitution record. . . .
Karl Pfeifer, a veteran Austrian journalist and a Holocaust survivor, has been quoted as saying: “The only reason Templ was prosecuted is that he touched a nerve with his book, which reminded the Austrians of how they stole Jewish property.” – BBC
Which Brontë sibling are you? – Prepare yourself for the “public events” associated with the upcoming bicentennial of the birth of the Brontës. Or take this quiz and see if you can figure out how not to get Emily.
All four of the Brontës (well, except for Branwell, the often-forgotten brother) are noted for their enduring contributions to English literature, and between them they produced classic novels Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall among others. – The Telegraph